3 August 2021

External contractor could be key to Yass heated pool construction

| Katrina Condie
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Design plans for pool precinct at Victoria Park in Yass

Complete Urban has been engaged by Yass Valley Council to undertake costings and a concept design for an indoor heated swimming pool and sports facility at Victoria Park. Image: Complete Urban.

Yass is one step closer to securing a heated pool with Yass Valley Council considering leasing an area of land at Victoria Park, near Yass Memorial Pool, and allowing an external operator to build the long-awaited facility.

The leaseholder would have the option to operate the existing outdoor pool provided they agreed to maintain the services currently provided by council, including six months’ minimum annual operation, swimming lessons, access for school carnivals and operation of the kiosk.

Council has already been approached by one private company looking for a location to develop an indoor heated pool.

At council’s ordinary meeting on Wednesday, 28 July, councillors approved the proposal to seek expressions of interest for the project.

Council’s director of infrastructure and assets, James Dugdell, says council spends $100,000 more than it recovers operating the pool, and there is no funding currently available to build a heated pool.

“The leasing of the pool area through an expression of interest to suitably qualified and experienced pool operators will provide the opportunity to deliver a service to the people of Yass Valley that is currently not within the resources of council,” he said.

“Yass Valley residents have been advocating for a heated pool and this will enable residents to swim year-round and use the pool for recreational and health purposes.”

Exciting plans are on the cards for Victoria Park, including a heated pool, improved playing fields and basketball courts.

The construction of a heated pool is part of council’s vision to develop the precinct, which also includes Yass Valley Caravan Park, tennis courts, a dog park and skate park.

READ ALSO Ongoing project funds needed to support Yass Valley growth

As Crown Land Manager of Victoria Park, council recently received funding to create a masterplan that provides a framework for its future development and management.

Improvements or upgrades identified in the plan are likely to be eligible for funding under the annual Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.

Council’s director of planning and environment, Julie Rogers, says the masterplan will have significant benefits for visitors and residents.

“Whether you’re into walking, rugby, basketball, skateboarding, tennis, swimming or using the dog park, our vision is to create a vibrant precinct in the heart of Yass,” she said.

“Council received funding from NSW Crown Lands, and this work will form the basis for future planning and management of Victoria Park, as well as putting ourselves in a strong position to attract future funding.

“Although we have had preliminary input from sporting groups, we really want to hear from the wider community on the proposed upgrades for the whole park.”

The masterplan includes recommendations for improvements and upgrades to the main oval, including two full-size rugby fields with a central cricket wicket, upgrade of John Allen Oval, including resurfacing two junior rugby fields and two additional tennis courts.

It also includes a caravan park office, amenity buildings, barbeques and signs, as well as formalised car parking areas.

The teen play area will include two new basketball courts adjacent to the skate park, and improvements will be made to the overgrown riverbank area, including weed control, revegetation and a walking/bike track.

Preliminary consultation sessions were held with key user groups including Yass Rams Rugby Union Club, Yass District Cricket Association, Hume Tennis and Community Centre, Spinifex Tennis, Yass High School and Yass Little Athletics Club.

The draft Victoria Park Masterplan will be on public exhibition until the end of August 2021. It will be adopted if no substantial objections are received.

Expressions of interest for the heated pool will come back to councillors for approval at a future council meeting.

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